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Hedge Funds Are Piling Into Weis Markets, Inc. (WMK)

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The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. We at Insider Monkey have plowed through 823 13F filings that hedge funds and well-known value investors are required to file by the SEC. The 13F filings show the funds' and investors' portfolio positions as of June 30th, when the S&P 500 Index was trading around the 3100 level. Stocks kept going up since then. In this article we look at how hedge funds traded Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK) and determine whether the smart money was really smart about this stock.

Is Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK) a good investment today? Money managers were getting more bullish. The number of bullish hedge fund positions went up by 7 in recent months. Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK) was in 19 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of June. The all time high for this statistics is 17. This means the bullish number of hedge fund positions in this stock currently sits at its all time high. Our calculations also showed that WMK isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q2 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks). There were 12 hedge funds in our database with WMK positions at the end of the first quarter.

Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

To the average investor there are dozens of metrics investors have at their disposal to appraise their holdings. Some of the most innovative metrics are hedge fund and insider trading activity. Our experts have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite fund managers can trounce the market by a superb amount (see the details here).

COATUE MANAGEMENT
COATUE MANAGEMENT

Philippe Laffont of Coatue Management

At Insider Monkey we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, Federal Reserve has been creating trillions of dollars electronically to keep the interest rates near zero. We believe this will lead to inflation and boost real estate prices. So, we are checking out this junior gold mining stock and we recommended this real estate stock to our monthly premium newsletter subscribers. We go through lists like the 10 most profitable companies in the world to pick the best large-cap stocks to buy. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our website to get excerpts of these letters in your inbox. With all of this in mind we're going to take a glance at the latest hedge fund action regarding Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK).

How are hedge funds trading Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK)?

At second quarter's end, a total of 19 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 58% from the first quarter of 2020. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards WMK over the last 20 quarters. With hedgies' capital changing hands, there exists an "upper tier" of key hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes meaningfully (or already accumulated large positions).

Is WMK A Good Stock To Buy?
Is WMK A Good Stock To Buy?

The largest stake in Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK) was held by Renaissance Technologies, which reported holding $21.7 million worth of stock at the end of September. It was followed by Arrowstreet Capital with a $7 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Winton Capital Management, GAMCO Investors, and AQR Capital Management. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Zebra Capital Management allocated the biggest weight to Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK), around 0.99% of its 13F portfolio. Algert Coldiron Investors is also relatively very bullish on the stock, setting aside 0.15 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to WMK.

As one would reasonably expect, some big names were breaking ground themselves. Marshall Wace LLP, managed by Paul Marshall and Ian Wace, assembled the most outsized position in Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK). Marshall Wace LLP had $2.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Noam Gottesman's GLG Partners also made a $1.8 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Greg Eisner's Engineers Gate Manager, Paul Tudor Jones's Tudor Investment Corp, and Dmitry Balyasny's Balyasny Asset Management.

Let's go over hedge fund activity in other stocks - not necessarily in the same industry as Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK) but similarly valued. We will take a look at NGM Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:NGM), NBT Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:NBTB), OSI Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSIS), Industrial Logistics Properties Trust (NASDAQ:ILPT), Black Stone Minerals LP (NYSE:BSM), Banner Corporation (NASDAQ:BANR), and Heron Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:HRTX). This group of stocks' market values are closest to WMK's market value.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position NGM,12,106170,0 NBTB,9,14109,5 OSIS,13,29529,-2 ILPT,9,50520,0 BSM,5,6083,2 BANR,14,49095,-1 HRTX,21,250642,2 Average,11.9,72307,0.9 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 11.9 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $72 million. That figure was $51 million in WMK's case. Heron Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:HRTX) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Black Stone Minerals LP (NYSE:BSM) is the least popular one with only 5 bullish hedge fund positions. Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for WMK is 83.8. Stocks with higher number of hedge fund positions relative to other stocks as well as relative to their historical range receive a higher sentiment score. This is a slightly positive signal but we'd rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. Our calculations showed that top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.4% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks gained 24.8% in 2020 through the end of September and beat the market by 19.3 percentage points. Unfortunately WMK wasn't nearly as popular as these 10 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on WMK were disappointed as the stock returned -3.7% in Q3 and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds as many of these stocks already outperformed the market so far this year.

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Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.

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